Those monsters taught me Judy's Magic Cast on and that was the end of it - I could no longer simply look at hand knit socks with admiration - I had to partake.
I tried out knitting a pair of toe up socks from Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toe Up
and had success and now am completely sock smitten. This book is phenomenal for getting a handle on basic toe-up construction. Several different toe and heel options are clearly explained so the knitter can pick and choose what she likes. (And I'm all about the choices and messing about with perfectly well written patterns. I think I've followed maybe 2 patterns word for word, stitch for stitch, without amendment in my 6 year knitting life.) The whole toe - up thing, like knitting sweaters top down, is just more intuitive for me. For some reason these methods trick my brain into thinking I am going faster. Knowing that when I'm done knitting there is no seaming waiting for me helps keep me going.
I even finished a pair of Cuff-down socks that I started 3 years ago. (See this post) The monsters also taught me that grafting is not such a scary endeavor, so the small amount of Kitchener Stitch at the toe of a cuff-down sock is no longer my enemy. (Though I will still choose toe-up more often!)
I love that there is always something new to learn in knitting. When I first started I would never have dreamed there were myriad ways to cast on, turn a heel, shape a shoulder, incorporate a multicolored flying monkey motif in the center of your sweater, and all the rest.
Call me simple-minded, but this endless looping of string never ceases to fascinate me and I am so glad for my entanglement.